4 years ago today, Facebook reminded me that Tommy was battling a furious battle in NICU. I often ask myself why he didn’t go back then. Back when the doctors gave us the choice –repeatedly- to end his battle. The outcome seemed too slim, his quality of life would be too low.
I remember my time in NICU fondly. I remember the generosity of the nurses, doctors and volunteers. I remember my desperation and my hope. I remember the other moms and dads that crossed my path- them too laden with loss. I remember 9 month old Isaiah by my side, needing me day in and day out. I remember the guilt. I remember the hours spent with 2, 3, 4 pounds Tommy on my chest with annoying cords, beeps and the awful smell of it all. I swear to God you NEVER want to have to smell that. You never want to discuss brain surgeries, ostomies, sepsis, and you NEVER want to justify to an ignorant nurse that NO you can’t pump at 4 am because you’re usually up with your 9 months old at that time anyways. But trust me, I remember that time fondly, now, because Tommy was in that time.
Through my spiritual search for meaning in my boy senseless death, I have crossed over time and again with writings that professes that the moment of death, to the millisecond, is always right. For example, Carolyn Myss writes about her perfectly healthy Master cross over by declaring: “Just as we are all born at the perfect moment for our energy to enter this earth, there is a perfect moment for us to leave this earth. My master wasn’t ill. He was complete.”
What does it mean to be complete? Why on earth would a 2 and half year old be “complete”? Tommy had risen up to so many hurdles only for it to end? Tommy was healthy, happy and thriving boy by then. So why? I have a really hard time rationalizing that.
And then 4 years goes by, and you get to see this time in your life more objectively- all of this significant stress the whole family went through. And you can attest to this: there is in fact meaning in the obscure and irrational aspect of loosing a child if you choose to see it as such. Your brain cannot process that, but your heart can feel that. The attempt to understand Tommy’s death or ANY senseless death is useless but to deeply surrender to his departure awakens my heart in all the ‘feels’.
In this manner, i get to FEEL capable and strong. I FEEL this life has an odyssey whether I am in it for one month, 34 years, or 102 years. It my duty to live a big, full life- for I am on a quest.
It’s in this place (my heart) that I connect with the experiences that make up all of it.
It’s in this place (my heart) that I hold the memories of holding you tight
It’s in this place (my heart) that I get to enjoy the simple yet glorious delights of living.
That. That is meaningful.